COLOMBO: Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wignewaran has attributed the Northern Provincial Council’s resolution on an “on-going genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka” to Central government ministers’ saying that not a single army camp will be removed from the province.
Addressing a meeting on the cooperative movement attended by Central Ministers Gamini Jayawickrema Perera and D.M.Swaminathan in Jaffna on Saturday, Wigneswaran said that recent public pronouncements that not even a single army camp will be withdrawn from the province could have been avoided. These statements had resulted in the NPC passing a resolution on genocide, he said.
“Please remember we feel very strongly against the continued stay of the armed forces in our areas. Until they are removed, except from areas of strategic importance, we will feel threatened,” Wigneswaran said.
He argued that the armed forces would only need 1000 of the 6500 acres appropriated from farmers to protect the Palaly airbase and the Kankesanthurai harbor since the end of Eelam War IV in 2009. The rest of the 5500 acres of fertile land could be handed over to the original owners who have deeds for them, the Chief Minister said.
He charged that the army is cultivating the peoples’ lands and is using up water which is a scarce commodity in Jaffna peninsula. It is polluting the area and causing fear among the people, he added.
Drawing attention to the fact that no government in Colombo, including the present one, has addressed the Tamils’ political problem, Wigneswaran said that it is essential to address it adequately “ so that none would put us back into the sea of turmoil and despair again.”